September 28, 2023 | ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT | By Katie Rowley

Temperatures may not be dropping quite yet, but the autumnal equinox on Sept. 23, was an adequate marker for me to pull out my heated blanket and break out pumpkin-flavored everything. And the best way to ring in this new season, in my opinion, is to cuddle up on the couch of your poorly insulated off-campus house, watch the leaves fall, and turn on some of the best fall television and movies.

Something equally comforting as the heat of your preferred fall-themed warmed drink (I am partial to the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato from Starbucks), is a good rewatch of outlandish 2000s dramas. I’m talking “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Gossip Girl,” and maybe some “Pretty Little Liars” if you feel like adding some spookiness into your life before Halloween.

Get sucked into the unbelievable scenarios the protagonists find themselves in and ignore all your comparatively boring problems, like needing to write the essays you have been putting off, or worrying about what your future looks like.

In the same vein, I also recommend a rewatch of the first seasons of “Gilmore Girls.” Now, I need to be upfront and say that I have yet to actually finish the series, but something about fall makes me want to revisit Rory before her life started falling apart. Chilton-era Rory, and the show during that period in general, gives very autumnal vibes – probably due to a conditioned link between school and autumn. And, as someone who went to public school, there’s no genre of media I enjoy more than “teenage-girl-at-a-boarding-school.” It’s very … dark academia.

The “Harry Potter” series is also making my rewatch list this season: fitting in nicely with the dark academia theme. Everything about the series, from when Harry, Ron, and Hermione are just little babies fighting a troll to the intense battle scenes of the final movie, screams “fall”. And, with so many hours of content, you can fully immerse yourself into the wizarding world.

The last rewatch I think is essential to consume as the leaves begin to fade into oranges and yellows is not a singular movie, but a genre: romantic comedies. I know, I know, it’s very basic. But, as someone who claimed to hate romcoms a year ago, actually watching them has turned me around. Whether you are slowly being consumed by the coldness of loneliness (which, I am), or you have someone to share your heated blanket with, nothing hits better than turning on a romcom from the ’90s and warming up your heart. For peak fall vibes, I recommend “When Harry Met Sally” – which is possibly the best romcom out there.

If you want to watch something new while still staying cozy on your couch, check out the recently released fourth season of the Netflix original “Sex Education.” In its final season, this show tackles every issue, from parental death to inadequate accessibility to intimacy issues. I binged all eight episodes during Block Break, but if you haven’t had a chance to tune in and tear up during the final episode, I recommend it.

If you are willing to venture out into the sort-of chilly fall temperatures of southern Colorado, the prequel to the extremely popular “Hunger Games” series, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” will hit theaters on Nov. 17. As the number one fan of the series, I just know this movie will surpass any of my expectations. With about a month and a half until the release, I’ll be rewatching the previous four movies in the series, as well as rereading the “Songbirds and Snakes” book author Suzanne Collins released in 2020.

If you don’t want to wait until November to journey to Tinseltown (my preferred Colorado Springs movie theater), my final recommendation will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. “Taylor Swift: The Era’s Tour” will be released on Oct. 13, and there’s nothing better to do in the fall than reminisce on your favorite summer memories or reflect on how sad you were that you didn’t get a chance to see Swift on her first American leg. And, if you’re looking for the perfect fall-flavored snack to sneak into the theater, whip up some of Swift’s famous chai sugar cookies.

Returning to the temperatures, they’re supposed to drop in the coming weeks. Fall is coming. So, curl up on your couch and let me know if you watch any of my recommendations, or, better yet, invite me over and we can watch together.

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